As she sat down with Elle and reflected on the achievements she's made throughout her career, Billie Eilish opened up about what motivated her to dye her hair and change her look. While discussing her changing looks over the past year as she's been getting older and growing up, Eilish revealed that not all the fan response was positive when she began posting photos of her wearing a corset. In fact, Eilish wound up losing around 100,000 followers.
"I lost 100,000 followers, just because of the boobs," she said in the interview.
Having grown up in the limelight since she shot to fame at only 14 years old, Eilish was always careful to cover herself up in order to not be sexualized. For someone who was a minor through most of their career, it was a smart move. But as she inches closer to turning 20 this year, the pop superstar doesn't want to be confined to the same box that she started off in. She wants to experiment. Or even just wear a tank top without having the world over-analyze and second guess her choices.
"It wasn't even a provocative shirt," she said in the interview. "But I know people are going to say, 'Holy fuck, she's dressing sexy and trying to make a statement.' And I'm like, 'No, I'm not. It's 500 degrees and I just want to wear a tank top.'"
The "NDA" singer also ditched her green and black signature hairstyle that was kept throughout her When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? era for a blonde shag. While the look was changed in part because Eilish just got tired of the green and black and wanted something new, anonymity also played a part. "I went to a park with a friend, and I was like, 'No, I can't take off my hood!' I was terrified of the paparazzi and these stalkers I've had. But my friend was like, 'Don't worry: You're okay. Nothing's gonna happen.' And I took my hood off, and I felt like a new person."
Even Madonna weighed in, pointing out that men hardly ever need to deal with the double-standard. "If she wants to turn around and take photographs where she is portrayed as a feminine woman, showing her body in a way that she hasn't in the past, then why should she be punished for it," Madonna said. "Women should be able to portray themselves in any way they want. If Billie were a man, no one would be writing about this. A man can show up dressed in a suit and tie for the first three years of his career, and then the next month he could be dressed like Prince or Mick Jagger, shirt off, wearing eyeliner, and no one would say a word."
While speaking with Drew Barrymore on The Drew Barrymore Show, Eilish had revealed that she's lost some of her confidence as she's grown older. While she may have been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People this year, she says only internal validation can bring about feelings of success.